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Career and Education Opportunities for Avionics Technicians in Chicago, Illinois

Avionics technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 510 jobs for avionics technicians in Illinois and this is projected to grow 3% to about 520 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for avionics technicians are expected to grow by about 10.6%. In general, avionics technicians install, inspect, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.

The income of an avionics technician is about $21 hourly or $44,230 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 per hour or $49,310 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Aircraft, people working as avionics technicians in Illinois earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Aircraft nationally.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as an avionics technician. Given that the most common education level for avionics technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be an avionics technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Avionics Technician

Avionics Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, avionics technicians install, inspect, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.

Avionics technicians adjust or remove malfunctioning parts or assemblies, using hand tools or soldering irons. They also keep records of maintenance and repair work. Equally important, avionics technicians have to test and troubleshoot instruments, parts, and assemblies, using circuit testers or voltmeters. They are often called upon to fabricate parts and test aids as required. They are expected to connect parts to assemblies such as radio systems and in-flight refueling systems, using hand tools and soldering irons. Finally, avionics technicians assemble parts such as switches and junction boxes, using hand tools or soldering irons.

Every day, avionics technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for avionics technicians to set up electrical and electronic parts, assemblies, and systems in aircraft, using hand tools or soldering irons. They are often called upon to direct work with that of engineers and other aircraft maintenance personnel. They also assemble and operate ground support and test apparatus to perform functional flight tests of electrical and electronic systems. They are sometimes expected to interpret flight test data to diagnose malfunctions and systemic performance problems. Somewhat less frequently, avionics technicians are also expected to operate computer-aided drafting and layout applications to lay out avionics system modifications.

And finally, they sometimes have to set up electrical and electronic parts, assemblies, and systems in aircraft, using hand tools or soldering irons.

Like many other jobs, avionics technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Aircraft Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul aircraft engines and assemblies, such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
  • Car Electronics Installer. Install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.
  • Electronics Mechanic. Install, adjust, or maintain mobile electronics communication equipment, including sound, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other mobile equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Avionics Technician Training

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has 2 areas of study related to Avionics Technician. They are:

  • Airframe Mechanics & Aircraft Maintenance Technology/Technician, one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree.
  • Avionics Maintenance Technology/Technician, bachelor's degree.

CERTIFICATIONS

Avionics: A technician with two or more years of combined work and electronics training may apply for the Journeyman exam.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Customer Service Specialist: An individual who successfully passes ETA's World Class CSS Certification exam is professionally recognized as having the ability to uphold the interpersonal and business standards necessary in today's workplace.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Airmen Certification: Include the following areas:

  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Flight Engineers, Flight Navigators, Aircraft Dispatchers, and Control Tower Operators
  • 8610-1 (PDF) - Mechanic's Application for Inspection Authorization
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Mechanics, Repairman, and Parachute Riggers
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Pilots, Flight Instructors and Ground Instructors
  • Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application for Sport Pilot

Medical Certification:

Certified Aerospace Technician: The SpaceTEC Certified Aerospace Technician Core exam is a three part exam consisting of a 70 question, computer based, written exam, followed by an oral and practical evaluation of an individual's technical knowledge and skills.

For more information, see the SpaceTEC website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.